More Than 40 States Have Spiking COVID Cases and Midwestern Hospitals Are 'Struggling' to Keep Up

COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have increased 41 percent in the last two weeks, and hospitals in several states are running out of ICU beds

covid map
Photo: Martin Schwartz/PEOPLE

Hospitals are struggling to keep up as COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continue to rise in more than 40 states.

New infections have increased 41 percent in the last two weeks and hospitals in several states — primarily in the Midwest — are running out of ICU beds.

Hospitalizations in Wisconsin have doubled in the last month, and University Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin is currently working to expand their COVID-19 ward, said emergency room physician Dr. Jeff Pothof.

“I’d love to tell you that we’re doing great, but we’re struggling,” Pothof said on Today. “We continue to break record number of patients each day in our hospital, and we’re having to expand our footprint for our COVID-19 patients.”

Wisconsin’s governor, Tony Evers, said Tuesday that the state is in a “crisis” as they opened a hospital facility at the state fair grounds.

"There is no way to sugarcoat it, we are facing an urgent crisis and there is an imminent risk to you and your family," Evers said, CNN reported.

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Many other states are also struggling. North and South Dakota have the most cases per capita in the nation, and the governors of both states have resisted adding a mandate for citizens to wear masks in public. White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx visited North Dakota on Monday and slammed the lack of masks.

"Over the last 24 hours, as we were here and we were in your grocery stores and in your restaurants, and frankly even in your hotels, this is the least use of masks that we have we seen in retail establishments of any place we have been," Birx said, according to The Bismarck Tribune. "And we find that deeply unfortunate because you don't know who's infected, and you don't know if you're infected yourself."

The soaring rates of new infections is not just confined to the Midwest, though. States from Alaska to Rhode Island to Idaho to Alabama are reporting their highest daily case totals of the entire pandemic in just the last week.

The U.S. is “not in a good place,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Wednesday, CNN reported.

On Wednesday, the U.S. recorded the second-highest number of new infections in one day with 81,457, just below the all-time record of 85,085, set last Friday.

As of Thursday morning, more than 8,932,900 Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 227,697 have died from the virus, according to The New York Times.

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